Saturday, January 14, 2017

0 Breeana Shields, author of POISON'S KISS, on using a playlist to daydream and plot

We're thrilled to have Breeana Shields join us to chat about her debut novel POISON'S KISS.

Breeana, what scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

This question is easier to answer in reverse because most of my scenes are hard—I’m a fairly slow, deliberate writer—but my easiest scenes are the ones with Kadru. She’s mysterious and terrifying and so much fun to write. The parts of the book that feature her felt effortless and magical.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I wake up early to get my kids off to school; I’m not a morning person, so I spend the first ten minutes of the day wishing I could wake up at 8 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. Once I have the house all to myself, I settle in my home office with an electric blanket on my lap. I do a bit of throat clearing before I start working—checking and responding to email, catching up on Twitter, reading a few news stories—and then I dive in and start writing. When I’m actively drafting, I try to get at least five or six hours of writing in each day. I wish could listen to music while I write—I’m jealous of authors who can—but I have to work in silence. Music, especially if it has lyrics, tends to distract me. That’s not to say I don’t find music helpful though—I have a playlist for each book that I listen to when I’m driving or cleaning or doing anything mindless that lets me daydream and plot. Some of my best ideas come in those moments.

What are you working on now?

I’m in the final stages of editing the sequel to POISON’S KISS and then I’m turning to another fantasy set in a completely different world. I’m really excited about it!


Poison's Kiss
by Breeana Shields
Random House Books
Released 1/10/2017

A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive—like a poison kiss—and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.

Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya—a poison maiden—is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she's really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Purchase Poison's Kiss at Amazon
Purchase Poison's Kiss at IndieBound
View Poison's Kiss on Goodreads


Breeana Shields graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English. Her debut young adult fantasy, POISON'S KISS, will be released from Random House in 2017, with a sequel to follow in 2018. When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, playing board games and spending time with her husband, three children and an extremely spoiled miniature poodle. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where it drizzles, rains or pours nine months of the year, but then transforms into paradise during the other three. She’s willing to make the trade-off.


Have you had a chance to read POISON'S KISS yet? Do you have a character that makes writing feel effortless and magical? Do you have a playlist to help with ideas when you're not writing? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Anisaa, Sam, Erin, Susan, Michelle, Laura, and Kristin

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